News & Events

18 February 2021 - Vacancy on the Styx Trust


The Styx Living Laboratory Trust is searching for a treasurer for our registered charitable trust to join us in protecting the Pūharakekenui (Styx River) and its environs. The Styx Living Laboratory Trust, is a local river care group, which was established in 2000 to achieve Vision 3 (Develop a "living laboratory" that focuses on both learning and research) of the Christchurch City Council`s `Styx Vision 2000 – 2040.’ The Trust has since encompassed a role of guardianship and advocacy for the waterway and the biodiversity of the surrounding land as a living part of the Canterbury landscape.

Every year over 2000 volunteer hours are clocked up through our tree plantings, water quality & bird monitoring programmes and our annual community events. We, the trustees and volunteers are advocates for maintaining water quality and other values (including drainage, ecology, landscape, culture, recreation, and heritage values) in the river. We care deeply about our water and want it to remain clean, healthy, biodiverse and available for future generations to use and enjoy.



The person who becomes the treasurer will fill a crucial role for our Trust and will work alongside a passionate team of Trustees and volunteers. The treasurer will ensure good fiscal management and planning, decision-making within budgets and oversight of finances at a governance level as well as general involvement in Board of Trustee decisions.

The principle duties are to:
• Oversee the development of financial strategies and their review by the Board of Trustees
• Preparation of the annual budget and maintaining up-to-date regular financial reporting
• Ensure that the appropriate financial statements are regularly reviewed by the Board and advise the Board of any important discrepancies between planned and actual figures
• Assists the Board with preparation of annual reporting to Charities Services
• Keep the Board informed of important financial events, trends, and issues relevant to the organization

The role requires someone with the following attributes:                                                                                  
•  Someone who is passionate about protecting the Styx and keen to get involved with the Styx Living Laboratory Trust
• An understanding of, and experience with, good financial management and reporting practices
• An appreciation of the kind of financial information needed at a Board of Trustee level to support decision making
• An ability to commit the time required to fulfil the responsibilities described

Other information:
There are currently 8 trustees but we are updating our governance structure so this is subject to change. To learn more about us please visit our website -

Please email  with a CV if you are interested in applying for this position or to request more information. We have some very exciting projects on the horizon and we would love to have you on board!


23 September 2020

The annual Styx Living Laboratory Trust AGM was held on Monday night at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. This wonderful and incredibly informative evening was enjoyed by all who came along. During this meeting the Trust discussed its finances, which are currently looking very healthy due to receiving funding from multiple sources. The Trust also discussed its long term plan for the Styx River and how we are on our way to achieving this. The meeting was followed by a number of Pecha Kucha style presentations, 20 slides for 20 seconds each. These covered a wide range of topics from native plantings along the Styx river to details of Julia Rambacher’s upcoming PhDWe would like to thank Willowbank Wildlife Reserve for allowing us to host our meeting there. We would also like to thank everyone who came along and supported the trust at this event. 


May updates

Unfortunately during the Covid-19 lockdown we have been unable to continue monitoring the Styx river as usual.

BUT Christchurch City Council rangers have been out doing their own surveys!

In late April the biodiversity team needed to do an urgent survey of the Canada Goose population and did a comprehensive survey of the Brooklands Lagoon while they were there.

Ranger Andrew Crossland says the wildlife values of Brooklands lagoon have been on a steep rise following the Christchurch earthquakes. He counted 10,413 birds – one of the highest ever counts! This really puts Brooklands Lagoon up there in the rankings of NZ coastal wetlands (alongside our other A++ sites, the Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and Lake Forsyth).

Brooklands Lagoon
Brooklands Lagoon April 2020. Image by Andrew Crossland, Christchurch City Council














Summer in the Styx - February 2020

It was so great to see everyone again this year at Summer in the Styx!

We had an estimated 400 visitors and raised over $1800 for the continued restoration of the Styx river and its surrounds.

Here are just a few photos of the great day out, taken by Styx Living Laboratory Trust and Christchurch City Council.


Kayaking on the river

Planting trees








Lunch?Bird watching








Some woolly visitorsA full car park








October updates



Fantastic day on the Styx tday . . . we kayaked about 2.5 km down Kā Pūtahi Creek (from Guthrie’s Road to the Styx River confluence) to survey post-quake plantings, biodiversity pest plants and birds.

Although it was narrow, Antony Shadbolt, Andrew Crossland, Katie Noakes (CCC ecologists), Simon Rutherford (Styx Living Laboratory Trust) made it to the end with only a few obstacles to clear. They stayed reasonably dry (from the waist up anyway) on this beautiful but often overlooked Christchurch waterway. They also saw some ENORMOUS longfin eels!

























Today Environment Canterbury (ECan) staff visited a few spots on the Styx River and Kā Pūtahi Creek on a ‘cultural tour’. The rongoā Māori site, Te Kōrari Pā Harakeke, the kanakana (lamprey) breeding site have all been developed or managed for their relevance to Māori culture, particularly mahinga kai.

The group finished by planting more than 100 trees down at 608 Marshland Road - hosted by the Styx Living Laboratory Trust and Yvette Williams (CCC Park Ranger) where they were joined by Simon Rutherford and more than 30 pupils from Ouruhia School for more planting.























September planting days


Another 500 native trees and shrubs planted along the Styx/Puharakekenui River at 303 Radcliffe Road



Another day, and another 500 native trees and shrubs planted along the Styx/Puharakekenui River at 303 Radcliffe Road. Thanks to Justin Morgenroth and 50 of his first year students from the University of Canterbury, NZ School of Forestry. Doing our bit for the Climate and Ecological Emergency.



Planting on Marshland road


Today we planted more than 500 trees down at 608 Marshland Road with the team from WSP Opus. This was part of a bigger planting of more than 2000 native trees here - part of a nationwide effort to plant 350,000 trees to commemorate the 350,000 servicemen and women who served overseas since the end of WW1..... and also part of the 1B Trees programme.

Thanks to Beth Baker and the Styx Living Laboratory Trust for organising this.... and to Alice Waterhouse CCC Regional Park Ranger for also being awesome!! Magic day..... and a lot better than the weather forecast!!



Kayaking the Styx


This week we spent three and a half hours kayaking down the Styx River from Redwood Springs to almost Spencer Park with Simon Rutherford, Beth Baker (Styx Living Laboratory Trust) and Alice Waterhouse (Christchurch City Council Park Ranger).

Beautiful river ....very over grown with willow in places (had to get out and drag the boats a few times). We saw Cape Barren geese with young too. Great day, and looking forward to doing it again soon with Ouruhia School this week!



Planting day



Today's planting was part of the Oceania Ecosystem Services Forum, with mostly people from eth Pacific, Indonesia, PNG, Malaysia and some from eth US and elsewhere.

It rained steadily and was freezing cold (especially for those from the tropics) but everyone had a GREAT time planting more than 300 trees under the guidance of Antony, CCC Coastal Ranger Jason Roberts, and rongoa practitioner Aperahama Kipa.



Matariki in the Styx


It was the fifth year in a row for the Matariki Planting at the Rongoa Maori site on Marshland Road. A cold and frosty morning for the 6.45 AM start, but it turned into a brilliant day with lots of trees planted and some nice stories and karakia from Aparahama Kipa.

We broke for a hui and breakfast back at the rangers station at 8.30, and then back for more planting at the more respectable time 10 AM with a bigger group.

However those who miss the early (6.45 AM) sessions each year miss some real magic - planting in the dark, and reading the early morning skyline for signs of a good year to come!